‘India’s medical oxygen production up by nearly 60% since August 2020’: Officials tell PM Modi

Published on Apr 28, 2021 12:07 AM IST

PM Modi was also “briefed about the functioning of the Oxygen Express Railways Service” during a top-level Covid-19 review meeting on Tuesday.

File photo: Oxygen cylinders outside of Patna Medical College and Hospital in Patna, Bihar. (Santosh Kumar /Hindustan Times)
File photo: Oxygen cylinders outside of Patna Medical College and Hospital in Patna, Bihar. (Santosh Kumar /Hindustan Times)

India has increased its Liquid Medical Oxygen (LMO) production by nearly 60% since last year and has increased the share of oxygen for various states, prime minister Narendra Modi was informed by officials during a top-level Covid-19 review meeting on Tuesday.

While the PM received an overview on the situation related to oxygen availability, medicines and health infrastructure, he was also “briefed about the functioning of the Oxygen Express Railways Service as well as the domestic sorties and international sorties undertaken by IAF to transport oxygen tankers,” a press release said.

At the meeting, the officials informed that LMO production went up from 5700 MT/day in August 2020 to 8922 MT on April 25, 2021, adding that the domestic production is expected to cross 9250 MT/day by the end of April.

The PM told the officials to work closely with state governments to start the PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) oxygen plants at the earliest. Last year, the central government decided to install 162 PSA oxygen plants across various states. During Tuesday’s meeting, increasing the share of oxygen to the states was also discussed. Senior officers told PM Modi that they are encouraging states to set up PSA oxygen plants.

“The Empowered Group working on medical infrastructure and Covid management briefed the PM on efforts being undertaken to ramp up availability of beds and ICUs. They informed the PM of efforts being taken to break the chain of transmission. PM stressed the need to ensure that specific guidelines and strategies evolved regarding Covid management needs to be properly implemented by the relevant agencies in the states,” the release added.

The Empowered Group working on communication, headed by information and broadcasting secretary Amit Khare, spoke about the efforts undertaken to improve awareness among people on Covid-related behaviour.

While the government claimed that the money was allotted for these oxygen plants from PM-Cares, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said that his government didn’t receive any fund for the 10 allotted plants for Delhi.

The meeting was attended by cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba, PM’s principal secretary PK Mishra, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla, Niti Aayog member Dr VK Paul, and other top officials.

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